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I'm 'upgrading' from a Malata N966 to a Jaton

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I'm 'upgrading' from a Malata N966 to a Jaton

Old 02-10-04, 08:33 PM
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I'm 'upgrading' from a Malata N966 to a Jaton

Yup - I ordered a new Jaton DVD player (the one that is basically the same as the Malata 520) to replace my Malata N966 which I bought before they came out with the version that could do firmware updates - I have a DTS dropout problem and mild overheating issues with it. I will compare and contrast after I've played with the Jaton a little bit and post my thoughts. I figured I'd start the thread now so I could get some comments - I did a search and it doesn't look like the Jaton has been talked about much in the last 6 months, so it's probably time for a new thread. Anyone wanna comment on their Jaton experience or compare the Jaton to the Malata. I would've gone with a JVC except that I wanted the X-Y scaling, so no need to talk about the cyberhome or whatever other player.
Old 02-10-04, 08:45 PM
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Re: I'm 'upgrading' from a Malata N966 to a Jaton

Originally posted by Trigger
Yup - I ordered a new Jaton DVD player (the one that is basically the same as the Malata 520) to replace my Malata N966 which I bought before they came out with the version that could do firmware updates - I have a DTS dropout problem and mild overheating issues with it. I will compare and contrast after I've played with the Jaton a little bit and post my thoughts. I figured I'd start the thread now so I could get some comments - I did a search and it doesn't look like the Jaton has been talked about much in the last 6 months, so it's probably time for a new thread. Anyone wanna comment on their Jaton experience or compare the Jaton to the Malata. I would've gone with a JVC except that I wanted the X-Y scaling, so no need to talk about the cyberhome or whatever other player.
Good topic I would also be interested in this. I have a Malata N996 but with no alternative for the X & Y scaling this might be a good player for a backup...
Old 02-10-04, 08:47 PM
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Trigger,

I was gonna say I hope no one says anything about a Philips 727 or any other bargain player. I have already had one experience with a bargain player (Cyberhome) and while it did the job, it didn't do it to my complete satisfaction (very heavy red push).

I have been looking at the Jaton and it is a very nice player. I look forward to hearing your opinions.

I am currently looking at the Malata 558. I like the sleek design. Also, the JVC 602 is another option.

Did you order from HKflix or somewhere else? I would love to be able to get a player at a smaller cost than what HKflix is selling them for.

I sadly missed a big ebay sale last month on the Malata 558 for around $100 via a Canadian seller.

As far as X-Y scaling, I don't believe this will be an issue for me since all of my dvds are anamorphic.
Old 02-10-04, 10:22 PM
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I spent 200 bucks shipped for it at some yahoo shop - provided it arrives at my house safe and sound and I'm satisfied with the service, I'll post a link to the place I ordered it from. I basically just did a search and found a place selling it cheaper than HKflix and decided to go for it.
Old 02-10-04, 10:25 PM
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Was this it?

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/dvdspeci...76progsca.html
Old 02-11-04, 01:27 AM
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yup
Old 02-11-04, 11:06 AM
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Looking forward to what you have to say about the Jaton. I've been considering it for awhile as a replacement for my Daewoo 5700, but like you said, there doesn't seem to be much discussion out there about the Jaton.
Old 02-11-04, 12:51 PM
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The x-y scaling is the only thing that really seperates the Jaton and Malata. From an mpeg decoder and deinterlacer point of view, they are very much budget units. The analouge sections are no better than the Philips or Toshiba. The x-y scaling is however a very unique and compelling reason to buy. Panasonic incorporates this in their new players as well.
Old 02-11-04, 01:13 PM
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I can't wait to hear a comparison between the two.

My Malata 996 has served me well for several years. I too had the DTS dropout problem show up, and had a fellow in (if I remember correctly) NY state install the upgrade for about $50.

This solved the DTS issue, but surprisingly, also helped with subtitles! I found on discs with overlapping subtitles, like Excel Saga and their onscreen "vidnotes," each time another line of text appeared, the subtitles would all pop off and then back on with the new line. When this was happening repeatedly, the flashing subtitles were awful.

Again, this disappeared after the upgrade. My Malata is still hangin' in there! However, with the dry weather and static in the air, I have found that apart from giving myself static shocks all around the house, that numerous times when I have approached the Malata the static has made it loop the welcome screen, and be stuck until I turn it off and on again.

I've made sure since to touch something metallic first, but at the back of my mind wonder if my machine is beginning its passage from this world. Hence I love threads like this, where us ol' Malata buffs can consider the options beyond Malata.

I must admit, I have only used the X-Y scaling about twice, on discs with problematic transfers. However, I use the adjustable zoom all the time, to minimize overscan.
Old 02-12-04, 09:15 PM
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Anyone know what MPEG decoder the Jaton uses and whether it suffers from the dreaded chroma bug?
Old 02-17-04, 06:01 PM
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Ok - my Jaton arrived today. dvdspecialty.com did a good job of modifying the player and shipping it to me.

The Jaton is better than my Malata in terms of picture and sound. Since I'm not that picky in terms of picture, I couldn't tell you what a chroma bug is or any of that... but PAL discs look fantastic and when set up properly, the flicker disappears (which I was never able to eliminate with the Malata). The X-Y scaling works differently than with the Malata... you hit the zoom button once and you can zoom in and out in small increments (which is very similar to x-y scaling on the malata and may suit my needs just fine). Hit zoom again and it changes from zoom to pan. Hit it again and it changes to x-y... but the difference here is that you hit left or right and it adjusts the horizontal scale and up and down adjusts the vertical scale... so you could end up with a squished picture - hardly noticeable, but that's what can happen.

The setup menu works very similar to the Malata, so it should be very familiar. One big difference is that it came to me region free. Nice. To change the region, in case of RCE discs, you simply turn the player off with the remote, hit clear (don't have to hold it down) and change the region to 1-6 or else 0 for region free using the corresponding number on the remote and then turn it on again. Works like a charm.

I haven't played with it enough to notice DTS dropouts, but so far there haven't been any. The image quality is superb - better than my Sony player (as it should be since my sony isn't progressive). It's also better than the Malata which had the blacks looking a bit on the gray side.

The player is very sturdy and heavy for a DVD player... feels like a solid piece of electronics. The face kinda looks deceptively cheap like a Sampo or something (as you can see from the pictures) but it's really not cheap. The remote is cheap - but no different from an old baseline Toshiba or the Malata remote. However, it is a better remote than the Malata. It's not pretty, but it will get the job done and it's a little more intuitive, so you can remember buttons in the dark.

Problems so far - I noticed a delay in the subtitles. Yes... the subtitles delay about a second and sometimes flash by kinda quickly. I put some calls in to Jaton and they're gonna get back to me. I also called dvdspecialty and they are also gonna look into it (good customer service so far). It's not a firmware problem because the player shipped to me with the latest firmware in place. I did a google search and found only one result and someone on another forum reported this also and suggested that it only occured when you fiddled with the x-y scaling (which I did)... I checked this out and I can confirm that the subtitle delay is only when you use the x-y scaling or zoom features. Otherwise, the subtitles seem to be perfect. I'm hoping to get a resolution to this problem with a firmware update soon. I hear Jaton is good about firmware these days.

Sorry I can't compare to the Malata 520 or whatever... all I had was the N966. I can say that it is better than the Malata I have. The subtitle problem is probably only gonna affect me cuz I like to zoom out the picture when I watch movies since they are almost always cropped a little - anamorphic or not - region 1 or 3 or 2 or whatever - and it kinda bugs me. For now, I'm just gonna avoid using the zoom and x-y when watching a film with subs... that sucks too cuz that's the reason I went with this player.

With my Malata, I only used it for my non region 1 or 0 dvds because I didn't feel comfortable with the reliability of the player... However, I feel comfortable using the Jaton as my main player for all DVDs. I'm gonna try that for awhile and see how it goes. If you have any questions for me, I'd be happy to check stuff out and report back. Know of any DVDs that were notorious for causing DTS dropouts on the Malata? If I have em, I'll check.
Old 02-17-04, 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by Trigger
... but PAL discs look fantastic and when set up properly, the flicker disappears (which I was never able to eliminate with the Malata).
What settings do you use to eliminate flicker? Does it work on PAL video-sourced material in addition to film?

I read that the Jaton has a feature to compensate for PAL speedup, something called "Y speed up and slow down." Have you been able to try this at all?
Old 02-17-04, 11:22 PM
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Looks like I should have done the same. My Pioneer goes in and out on R1, R2 & R4 discs at the beginning of the film (opening credits). With the R1 Wonderland, it did it throughout the movie. I asked to switch for a different player and they said no go since it was opened. How was I supposed to know it wouldn't work right? They are trying to figure out the problem but looks like I am going to have to deal with the PAL problem. BS if you ask me if I have to.

Glad to see your player is working for you.
Old 02-18-04, 12:23 AM
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Originally posted by Bill Geiger
Looks like I should have done the same. My Pioneer goes in and out on R1, R2 & R4 discs at the beginning of the film (opening credits). With the R1 Wonderland, it did it throughout the movie. I asked to switch for a different player and they said no go since it was opened. How was I supposed to know it wouldn't work right? They are trying to figure out the problem but looks like I am going to have to deal with the PAL problem. BS if you ask me if I have to.
Is it a flickering effect or does it go to black? You could try searching the net to see if others have had similar problems and to find a solution, though I bet you've already tried that...
Old 02-18-04, 12:47 AM
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WOW! So it could be the hardware or the firmware. Since the machine was modded, shouldn't they be obliged to accept returns? Shoddy craftsmanship is not your fault, it's theirs! The flickering makes me think the problem is with whatever converts the pal signal to ntsc. Since the disk plays, its probably not a firmware issue. How good are you with electronics? Perhaps you could take a look under the hood...what else do you have to lose at this point?
Old 02-18-04, 01:07 AM
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Originally posted by Bill Geiger
Well, here is what was said to me just a few minutes ago:

Like I said, if there is a defect, we will fix it. PAL conversion is a tricky process that involves downconverting higher resolution and lower frame rate per second PAL into NTSC. It is very complex and some chips simply do a better job than others. I made that clear to you before we shipped and you declined the offer of the JVC.
They say they will fix the defect, but they refuse to give you a refund? He even uses the qualifier 'if' to imply that yours is not defective. He wants to make it seem as if the player may not, in fact, be 'broken'. The last line puts all the blame on you, as if you could have envisioned such shoddy workmanship. If they installed it, they are obliged to at least fix it and pay for it to be shipped back to them. If they refuse...well, what you do then depends on how civil you choose to be after paying $200 for a broken player.
Old 02-18-04, 03:26 AM
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Originally posted by philo
What settings do you use to eliminate flicker? Does it work on PAL video-sourced material in addition to film?

I read that the Jaton has a feature to compensate for PAL speedup, something called "Y speed up and slow down." Have you been able to try this at all?
I just set it the way it was supposed to be set (only tried one PAL disc - Trainspotting)... I set my TV to Progressive and used component cables and set the output of the player to progressive also. I tried that with the Malata and it didn't help. I ought to try the South Park DVDs to see if it fixes those too. I'll play with it more this week and try to keep commenting on it.

If there's something that'll fix the PAL speedup, I'm gonna try it - hearing Renton's voice all high and hearing that New Order song at the wrong pitch is just off-putting.
Old 02-18-04, 03:30 AM
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Bill - perhaps you could ask Benedict to split your topic into a new thread so both topics can stay in tact. Besides - perhaps there are others who can add comments to your questions that just aren't looking in this thread.
Old 02-18-04, 03:37 AM
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Oh - and by the way - I contacted dvdspecialty again and talked to the guy about it - he said a few interesting things...

Malata USA isn't gonna produce any more of these home solo DVD players that we like so much... so says he. I don't know what that means as far as these region free units go, but he seemed to think that the 520 is discontinued and anyone selling it has extras in their warehouse. Also, the Jaton that I bought is also discontinued and if you want one, get it now - he seemed certain that DVD players with this many features and firmware upgrades and such are on their way out.

He also said there is at present no fix for the problem I am having... hope to hear a different story from Jaton whenever they contact me.
Old 02-19-04, 04:22 AM
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While I'm waiting to hear back, if anyone has heard of this or knows how to fix it, please let me know.
Old 02-19-04, 03:38 PM
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Hi Trigger (and everyone),

It's quite a coincidence, I've ordered a Jaton and also received it on 02/17. I'd heard that it had awful build quality, but that's not quite true IMHO. It does look awful, that's for sure. I mean, the "Jaton" sign on the front is not even glued on straight. However, it seems very solid and shouldn't start breaking apart unless you throw it on the wall or something.

So far, I've played a PAL DVD (the only one I have at the moment) on my NTSC interlaced tv set. There was quite a bit of shimmering that I couldn't completely get rid of even by fiddling with the various video filters, but I kind of expected that as I'd heard that the Mediamatics chipset does its best job when outputting in progressive. Apart from that, I was really happy being able to watch a PAL DVD on my tv set, and the zoom out and x/y scaling features are worth it alone.

Trigger, concerning your subtitle problem, I remember reading somewhere that the Y speedup/slowdown filter could perhaps help with such problems. You might want to play with it and see if it helps any.

As for the various video filters, they're completely undocumented. I've contacted George Cheng at Jaton and although he's very friendly, he obviously didn't feel like taking the time to explain every setting to me (I don't blame him). With some of the settings I can see an obvious difference in the picture, with others I don't see anything at all. For anyone who may be interested, here's a listing of the various filters and their respective options. If there are any Jaton owners who know exactly what each filter does and in what circumstance each can be useful, or anyone who's knowledgeable enough to guess at what they might do specifically, please chime in.

Also, George told me that each filter can be more or less useful depending on your particular television set and the specific DVD title you're playing.

Here are the options:

Format Conversion:
1) Centre
2) Auto
3) 525 only
4) 625 only

It seems that this is best left at "Auto".


Chroma Filter:
1) Bypass
2) CVBS
3) S-Video

I didn't see any difference in the picture when playing with these. I'm using S-Video out, so the "S-Video" option would seem like a logical choice.


Horizontal Filter:
1) Normal
2) Soft 1
3) Soft 2
3) Soft 3

This softens the image noticeably. The "Soft 1" and "Soft 2" filters are subtle effects and I could hardly see any difference between the two. One doesn't seem softer than the other, just slighlty different. The "Soft 3" option on the other hand is much stronger and softened the image to the point that it became blurry.


Vertical Filter:
1) Normal
2) Flicker

I have no idea what this does, I couldn't see any difference in the picture. Maybe it's just very subtle.


Y Delay:
1) 158ns Delay
2) 74ns Delay
3) Normal
4) 74ns Advance
5) 158ns Advance

This should probably slow down or speed up the video, but that's not what I saw. There definitely wasn't any difference in the pitch of the sound, so it obviously didn't change the speed of the entire DVD. What I did notice is that the image was panned slightly to the left with the "Delay" settings, and slightly to the right with the "Advance" settings.


Vertical Interpolation:
1) Field
2) Frame
3) Auto
4) Adaptive

I don't know what those do "scientifically", but changing the setting from the default "Adaptive" to "Frame" improved the image and reduced shimmering somewhat. This is the main option that George Cheng at Jaton told me could improve the PAL-to-NTSC transfer, especially on interlaced television sets.


Deinterlace Mode:
1) Normal Filter
2) Anti Flicker Fitler
3) Auto

Ovbiously, helps fix flickering problems, but I couldn't see any difference on my interlaced set, plus the DVD that I watched didn't display any flickering problem.


Widescreen Conversion:
1) None
2) Horizontal Shrink
3) Vertical Expand
4) Vertical Auto (Matted Only)
5) Full Auto

Those didn't have any effect on my tv set, but they're probably meant for 16:9 widescreen tv's.

That's it!
Old 02-20-04, 01:58 AM
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One more thing.

I've watched a region 1 NTSC DVD tonight, and I can confirm that using the zoom or x/y scaling features creates a delay in subtitles.

I'll contact George at Jaton about this, but I'm not very hopeful for a fix. I think the latest firmware is supposed to be the last, as Jaton are apparently coming up with a new DVD player later in the year.
Old 02-20-04, 08:51 AM
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that's what I was told by the place I bought it from... perhaps if enough people complain? Seems like it should be a simple fix. :/
Old 02-21-04, 05:59 AM
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Watched a half dozen DVDs on it so far and so far it kicks ass. Still have the subtitle problem, but otherwise it is great - awesome picture and sound and no dts dropouts or whatever... in case anyone is still keeping score.
Old 02-21-04, 03:04 PM
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For Malata users who are reading this thread, here are a few comments from a 996 (upgraded firmware) user...

It's also better than the Malata which had the blacks looking a bit on the gray side.
Trigger, have you had your set calibrated? I had mine done, and the blacks on my TV are fine. I don't think you can attribute this to the player itself.

The subtitle problem is probably only gonna affect me cuz I like to zoom out the picture when I watch movies since they are almost always cropped a little - anamorphic or not - region 1 or 3 or 2 or whatever - and it kinda bugs me. For now, I'm just gonna avoid using the zoom and x-y when watching a film with subs... that sucks too cuz that's the reason I went with this player.
You are not alone in this - I zoom out a bit practically every time I watch a film to minimize overscan. If this actually affects the subtitles, that is a major drawback for those of us who would use foreign discs, which is one of the reasons to have the player in the first place.

.. but PAL discs look fantastic and when set up properly, the flicker disappears (which I was never able to eliminate with the Malata).
Again, the upgrade affected this. While I used the Malata's STILL filter for all PAL discs, and sometimes had to choose between combing and flicker, the upgrade meant that I was hardly ever bothering to change from AUTO for PAL discs.

It sounds like the Jaton is an interesting alternative, but I wonder how the JVC players compare?

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